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Oklahoma City principal, husband accused of Medicaid fraud

An Oklahoma City elementary school principal was charged Thursday, along with her husband, with Medicaid fraud.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: January 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm •  Published: January 18, 2013

The principal of an Oklahoma City elementary school and her husband are accused of bilking thousands of dollars from Medicaid by filing fake claims that they counseled at-risk children.

Cynthia Barchue, 52, is principal of Greystone Upper Elementary School, a third- through fifth-grade school at 2401 NW 115 Terrace. She has been charged in Oklahoma County District Court with three counts of Medicaid fraud. She's accused of fraudulently billing more than $16,000 to Medicaid.

She has worked at Capitol Hill, Oakridge and Heronville elementary schools.

Joseph Barchue, 56, is charged with one felony count and one misdemeanor count of Medicaid fraud. He's accused of filing more than $5,000 in false claims.

The Barchues are alcohol and drug counselors through YouthCare of Oklahoma, 222 E Sheridan. Both the Barchues and YouthCare are licensed to bill Medicaid for counseling services they provide to children.

Investigators question children

The investigation into the Barchues began two years ago, when Oklahoma City Public Schools administrators received an anonymous letter from an employee at Heronville Elementary, where Barchue was principal at the time.

The Barchues were recruiting current and former Heronville students to receive counseling services from them, according to court documents.

District officials turned their investigation over to the attorney general, Oklahoma City Superintendent Karl Springer said in a statement.

“All documents conducted in the internal investigation were turned over to the attorney general and are being used as evidence in the case against Mrs. Barchue,” Springer said. “OKCPS could not previously take disciplinary action against Mrs. Barchue because it would have jeopardized the federal prosecutor's case.”

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